Salute to Hampshire County Council’s volunteers for national Volunteers’ Week

The Leader of Hampshire County Council has praised the dedication of the Local Authority’s volunteers, during this national Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June).

Jun 2 2017

David Pinhorne, Countryside Volunteer

Councillor Roy Perry said: “Our volunteers are invaluable in helping us to make a difference in local communities. I would like to publicly thank all of our volunteers for their dedication and continued hard work in supporting our services - serving Hampshire’s 1.3 million residents.

“There are many different reasons why residents enjoy the volunteering opportunities on offer with the County Council, whether at our libraries, county archives and countryside sites, as volunteer drivers or mentoring vulnerable young people - to name but a few. It’s heartening to hear that our volunteers appreciate the benefits of volunteering as much as our communities do.”

Volunteer case studies from across Hampshire can be found in the Notes to Editors below, with volunteering opportunities listed at www.hants.gov.uk/volunteering

Notes to editors

Hampshire Countryside Service

Hampshire Countryside Service has a range of volunteering opportunities across the county including as rangers and farm hands, as well as for events, education and heritage projects. 

Eastleigh College student Joshua Buckle has completed an impressive 132 hours of volunteering at Royal Victoria Country Park near Netley, researching its past as a military hospital as part of Heritage Lottery Fund project. Since October, he has researched regimental badges of soldiers buried at Netley Military Cemetery, as well as searching for popular music of the time that the hospital was opened.

Joshua, 18, said: “I’ve really enjoyed volunteering for this project as I’m interested in local history and I wanted to spend some of my free time giving something back to the community. I also wanted to gain some office experience and help build my CV to help me apply for jobs in a few years.”

A photo of Joshua Buckle can be downloaded via the link below.

David Pinhorne, from Hill Head, volunteers at Titchfield Haven after working in corporate offices for 37 years.

David said: “After retiring, I wanted to give something back to the community - something that was physically demanding and outdoors and would give structure to my week. I do various jobs at Titchfield Haven from feeding the birds, to checking Land Rover engines to repairing and maintaining fences. The team work is brilliant. I’m with a team of five or six people every Wednesday. We get on very well and we’ve even met socially after volunteering.

“It’s too easy to stay at home on the computer or watch television. We know fitness, exercise and fresh air is good for you. So make every effort, get outside and volunteer – you’ll enjoy it.”

A photo of David Pinhorne can be downloaded via the link below. David is also available for radio interviews.

Hampshire Library Service

There are a range of volunteering opportunities across the County Council’s libraries, including helping children complete the Summer Reading Challenge, delivering books for the Home Library Service, as well as helping staff run Story Time and Rhyme Time sessions.

Ellie Veel from Basingstoke volunteers after school at South Ham Library, helping with book shelving as well as preparing Saturday craft activities for children.

The 15-year-old said: “Originally, I just volunteered at South Ham Library as a service to the community for my Duke of Edinburgh award but then I chose to stay on, and now I am a weekly volunteer there. I have worked there for nearly five months and my tasks vary every week, depending on what needs to be done. I like being part of a team and it is good work experience.”

A photo of Ellie Veel can be downloaded via the link below.

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

The Winchester-based centre cares for millions of documents of local, national and international importance, with some dating back more than a thousand years. Volunteering opportunities include working on historical maps, cataloguing archive film, stewarding and helping visitors at events, and delivering talks and film shows.

Shelagh Layland, from Eastleigh, volunteers for around 10 hours a month for Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, and she and her husband are working on linking tithe maps from the 1840s to modern mapping.

Shelagh said: “As a committee member for The Arts Society Winchester, I was looking for a project as the society wanted to partake in some heritage volunteering. The ‘Digitithe’ project is fascinating. I transcribe the tithe awards and my husband geo-references them. We are both interested in family history and the first tithe map that we worked on was for Brockenhurst, where one side of my husband’s family have lived for generations, and continue to live there now. I would recommend to anyone interested in local history to volunteer for this project.”

A photo of Shelagh Layland can be downloaded via the link below.

 

Vivienne Jarvis, from Andover, also started volunteering for the ‘Digitithe’ project, plotting each individual tithe plot and recording details like the names of the landowner and occupier. She also catalogues archive footage for Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

Vivienne said: “Volunteering at Hampshire Archives is very flexible. I can work on both projects at home when I have time, rather than having to travel. The hours are variable. For a few months in a row I might not do any hours, but this month I’ve probably already done 50! I find history and research fascinating, so both of these projects indulge my passions.”

A photo of Vivienne Jarvis can be downloaded via the link below.

Children’s Social Care

As part of the County Council’s move to transform children’s social care, volunteers are being recruited to work alongside social workers, to help improve outcomes for children in need of care and protection. The support of the ‘Innovations Volunteers’, in providing mentoring and coaching, helps better relationships to be fostered between families and services. This, in turn, helps families to make positive changes and reduce the need for social services intervention.

“Making a difference to just one young person in my first year,” that was the modest goal David set himself when he began work as one of the first Innovation Volunteers, after completing his training.  “In order to help young people, we often have to be ready to support their families – the two elements are inter-dependent,” David said. He added: “I’ve learned how vulnerable many young people are, and how important it is to be a good listener, non-judgemental and not to let children down.”

Commenting on how the Innovations Volunteers have helped him, 14-year old, Darren, said: “I am a lot more focused, and I’m going to school much more often than I was before I was being helped.”  Louise, aged 15, commented: “I could talk to my mentor. She was neutral because she had nothing to do with home or school. Now, I am more respectful to people and I am getting on a lot better with my parents and brothers and sisters.”

Volunteer drivers

Volunteer drivers provide car transport for a wide variety of County Council clients including children, older people, parents, families and people with a disability. Volunteers need their own car and decide how often they would like to drive with daily, weekly, monthly or simply one off journeys available, to fit around other commitments.

Volunteer driver John Murdoch from Southampton, said: “I have enjoyed being a voluntary driver for over 20 years. If you have any spare time and would like to help those in need, young and elderly. I think you would find it very rewarding.”

Carol Loose volunteers from the New Forest and said: “Many of the clients I transport love to see a familiar face. When I return to work after a holiday they are so pleased to see me, it makes it so worthwhile.”